Scott Peterson Death Sentence Overturned

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Scott Peterson's death sentence in murder of pregnant wife overturned by California Supreme Court
Laci Peterson and their unborn son, Conner, were killed over 15 years ago



The California Supreme Court on Monday overturned the death penalty sentence for Scott Peterson, convicted in the Christmas Eve murder of his pregnant wife, Laci, and their unborn son, Conner.

The court's decision came more than 15 years after Laci, a Modesto, Calif., school teacher, was killed. Investigators said Peterson dumped his wife's body from his fishing boat into the San Francisco Bay in 2002. The bodies of Laci and Conner surfaced months later.

While the murder conviction against Peterson stayed in place, the court ordered a new penalty phase trial.


"Peterson contends his trial was flawed for multiple reasons, beginning with the unusual amount of pretrial publicity that surrounded the case," the court found. "We reject Peterson's claim that he received an unfair trial as to guilt and thus affirm his convictions for murder."

SCOTT PETERSON: 'I HAD NO IDEA' CONVICTION IN LACI PETERSON MURDER WAS COMING

However, the court ruled the trial judge in Peterson's case "made a series of clear and significant errors in jury selection that, under long-standing United States Supreme Court precedent, undermined Peterson's right to an impartial jury at the penalty phase."

The court also agreed that potential jurors improperly were dismissed from the jury pool after saying they personally disagreed with the death penalty but would be willing to impose it per California law.

Peterson, now 47, also claimed on appeal that he couldn't get a fair trial because of the massive publicity that surrounded his case, even though his trial was held nearly 90 miles away from his Central Valley home of Modesto to San Mateo County, south of San Francisco.


SCOTT PETERSON: 15 YEARS LATER, A LOOK BACK AT A CASE THAT GRIPPED A NATION

Stanislaus County District Attorney Birgit Fladager did not immediately say if she would seek the death penalty again.

Peterson has been housed on San Quentin State Prison's death row since he was sentenced to death by lethal injection in 2005.

Peterson's case grabbed national headlines and intense pressure was put on investigators to find her killer. They chased nearly 10,000 tips and considered parolees and convicted sex offenders as possible suspects.

On Dec. 24, 2002, Peterson called his mother-in-law, Sharon Rocha, in the early evening to ask if Laci was with her. He told Rocha he had returned from a day of fishing and when he got home, Laci's car was in the driveway and their dog was in the backyard with his leash on.


The call to Rocha around 5:15 p.m. would set off a chain of events that would move an entire community, which jumped into action to find the missing mom to be. As the days and weeks went on, the search for Laci, who was 8 1/2 months pregnant when she disappeared, became more desperate.

Peterson claimed she was home the morning he left for his fishing trip in the San Francisco Bay and that was the last time he saw her.



Laci's family went on television, pleading for her safe return and for any information to help find her.

"Please bring my daughter home," Rocha asked the public in one news conference.

Attention soon turned to Peterson who has maintained he had nothing to do with Laci's disappearance.

One month after Laci's disappearance, police revealed her husband was living a double life, having an affair with a massage therapist who was living in Fresno by the name of Amber Frey.

SCOTT PETERSON MISTRESS AMBER FREY SUED OVER 'MEMOIRS OF A SEX ADDICT,' 'MYTHS OF THE FLESH'

Frey, a single mother, went to police once she became aware that the man she thought was her boyfriend was quickly becoming a prime suspect in a nationally televised case.

She eventually would go on to wear a wire and helped police record her conversations with Peterson, which would play a key role in the trial.


On April 13, 2003, the body of a baby boy was discovered along the shore of San Francisco Bay. The next day, the body of an adult female wearing maternity clothes was found nearby. The bodies were positively identified as those of Laci and her unborn son Conner.

Peterson was arrested in San Diego just days after the bodies were discovered.


He had dyed his hair blonde, grown a goatee and had many items in his car which led investigators to believe he may have been ready to run.

The double murder trial would take more than a year to begin, but at the end Scott Peterson was found guilty of first-degree murder for killing his wife, and second-degree murder for killing Conner.

Peterson, who pleaded not guilty, has always maintained his innocence.


He had dyed his hair blonde, grown a goatee and had many items in his car which led investigators to believe he may have been ready to run.

The double murder trial would take more than a year to begin, but at the end Scott Peterson was found guilty of first-degree murder for killing his wife, and second-degree murder for killing Conner.

Peterson, who pleaded not guilty, has always maintained his innocence.

 
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Scarlette

New member
:welcome:. So glad to know you returned! We sent emails out, but only some responded. Did you get one of the emails?

I never saw where a doctor examined the fetus and said it was older, either. I'd like to see a link to it if anybody finds it.
Thank you! The last time I was here, there was a long (for the most part) discussion about the McStay case. The only bad part for me was when the 2 trolls kept trying to work up anger and being divisive. But there were some real in-depth and logical theories and facts brought out I hadn't see before. I guess all those got lost along with Rebecca Zahau discussions.

I don't recall getting any email....I use Yahoo and Gmail. I only recognize a few names when I looked at the members.

There were some other questions I wasn't satisfied with during the trial, regarding the burglary across the street, and the fact that Laci's ring was found later at some pawn shop that was never fully followed up that I could remember. Sheesh, that was a LONG time ago and I've grown very old since then - a quarter of a century old now...lol.

I also think I need to learn some shortcuts around here, always takes me several minutes to find this case here.
 

Scarlette

New member
She's referring to the defense argument brought out in the testimony of Laci's doctors, the medical examiner, and a forensic anthropologist which posited that Conner was alive well beyond the 23rd. It was based on observations/facts/opinion regarding his expected gestational age from bone measurements, standard deviation, fetal biometry, etc. I don't believe there's any way to determine with any certainty that a "fetus" died within a particular 14-hour time frame after being in an ocean for 3.5 months, but honestly, it's a bit too complex to try to dissect here.

Far more compelling to me(and much easier to grasp) is the fact that there was a length of plastic twine, knotted tightly, within 2cm of Conner's neck. If Scott supposedly dumped a pregnant Laci into the Bay as the prosecution argued, how did this twine get tied around Conner's neck?
Thank you Howell for filling that in for me. Like I say, it's been a long time. Yes, I remember that too.
I also felt that other than his lies about being with/flirting with other women, that most of his answers sounded so "out in the open" about his time. Why would you tell about being at the same place she was found? He reminds me of the first trial I was talking about locally. That manor reminds me of me. Just telling what's in my mind, openly. I hate liars!! I grew up in a family with 2 of them, so many of their lies caused problems, not big problems but still. But I also know when I've been asked questions about things (like at the office) that by just telling like it was, I got in trouble either because I wouldn't lie or because my answer caused people to think a different way.

I guess that's why I find mysteries so fascinating. It is amazing how others interpret events/happenings.
 

Howell

Former Member
Thank you Howell for filling that in for me. Like I say, it's been a long time. Yes, I remember that too.
I also felt that other than his lies about being with/flirting with other women, that most of his answers sounded so "out in the open" about his time. Why would you tell about being at the same place she was found? He reminds me of the first trial I was talking about locally. That manor reminds me of me. Just telling what's in my mind, openly. I hate liars!! I grew up in a family with 2 of them, so many of their lies caused problems, not big problems but still. But I also know when I've been asked questions about things (like at the office) that by just telling like it was, I got in trouble either because I wouldn't lie or because my answer caused people to think a different way.

I guess that's why I find mysteries so fascinating. It is amazing how others interpret events/happenings.
You saw exactly what I saw. Watching Scott's police interrogation, you can see he's not reticent, he's not defensive, he's not guarded, he's just answering their questions directly. He told them exactly where he went that day and what he did. ALL of which was shown to be true.

And I hope you keep posting here, cuz I really like your "manor"...:LOL::LOL::LOL:
 

GrandmaBear

Deputized Emu Slayer/Horse Thief Hunter
If Conner was born alive the umbilical cord would have been cut and it was not. He also had no food in his stomach which would indicate a live birth. The twine was never tied tightly as it caused no internal nor external damage to Conner so what would have been the point of it in any scenario? Laci's uterus had not started shrinking as they do after delivery.

It is ludicrous to think some stranger kidnapped a very pregnant woman, kept her until she delivered her baby, no one cut the umbilical cord, and at some point killed her and the baby, a baby with not a bit of food in him. Then they loosely tied twine/tape around Conner for no purpose nor reason and dumped him in the bay? There was no sign whatsoever Conner was murdered outside of his mother's body.

Laci's body was in much worse shape than Conner's as he was protected in the womb.

Scott had a temporary two day fishing license for December 23 and 24 which he purchased on the 20th (premeditation). However, he said he was going golfing and even said afterwards that he had been golfing. Lo and behold Laci goes missing on fishing license days, days planned for on at least the 20th and a golfing story started. Lo and behold Laci and Conner wash up in the bay where Scott placed himself. Scott has a new woman. Scott wants a vasectomy. Scott said he had a dead wife. Scott was blowing off events with his wife and his unborn son to be with the new woman.

By the way, eyewitness testimony is an example of direct evidence. The fishing license is circumstantial evidence one has to put together with all other things to tie it to Laci. Yet we all know how incredibly unreliable eyewitness testimony can be. The fishing license while circumstantial, is a solid piece of physical evidence that exists with proof positive Scott purchased it. The difference in direct evidence and circumstantial evidence does not always mean the circumstantial is weaker evidence by any means.

It is a common misconception by many that circumstantial cases cannot result in first degree murder convictions nor death sentence verdicts. Many circumstantial cases are stronger than those with only a bit of direct evidence. Surveillance footage is circumstantial evidence most of the time. You can see the murderer pull up to a house two minutes before neighbors heard gunshots and screams for help. That footage puts the murderer there but no one saw him do the killing so it is circumstantial. My point is simply that most people put a lot of weight on pictures and surveillance and deservedly so but it usually is not direct evidence. The murder caught on tape would be direct evidence.

Direct evidence is a short list and in the days before DNA even shorter and DNA is not even always direct evidence. A fingerprint found at a crime scene is not direct evidence. When a person considers what is not direct evidence, it is clear most evidence in most cases is circumstantial. Imo.

Cops arrive to find a man standing over a still bleeding and moaning victim with a gun in hand. Gun was even just fired. A gunshot wound is apparent. No one else is in the home. Case closed? Of course not, although I would not doubt in times long past that could happen. Gun does not match. Man was neighbor who came running to help and shot at perp to stop perp from shooting victim again. Perp ran out. Even this scenario is not direct evidence.

So many complain about this case being circumstantial. I think they are mixing up the terms of circumstantial evidence and physical evidence. Most cases are circumstantial. Jmo.

To each their own opinion. Mine is that Scott is as guilty as sin.
 

GrandmaBear

Deputized Emu Slayer/Horse Thief Hunter
Thank you Howell for filling that in for me. Like I say, it's been a long time. Yes, I remember that too.
I also felt that other than his lies about being with/flirting with other women, that most of his answers sounded so "out in the open" about his time. Why would you tell about being at the same place she was found? He reminds me of the first trial I was talking about locally. That manor reminds me of me. Just telling what's in my mind, openly. I hate liars!! I grew up in a family with 2 of them, so many of their lies caused problems, not big problems but still. But I also know when I've been asked questions about things (like at the office) that by just telling like it was, I got in trouble either because I wouldn't lie or because my answer caused people to think a different way.

I guess that's why I find mysteries so fascinating. It is amazing how others interpret events/happenings.
Nice to "meet" you Scarlette. You will note my opinions differ on this case from yours.

Even so, people have different opinions in more cases than this one and I can respect that they do.
 

Kimster

Let's Find Michael Bryson!
Staff member
You saw exactly what I saw. Watching Scott's police interrogation, you can see he's not reticent, he's not defensive, he's not guarded, he's just answering their questions directly. He told them exactly where he went that day and what he did. ALL of which was shown to be true.

And I hope you keep posting here, cuz I really like your "manor"...:LOL::LOL::LOL:
People devoid of empathy can easily trick you with their feelings. Especially if they've been getting away with it for a long time. Some aren't very good at it because they haven't gotten away with it as much. That's my opinion anyway, having first-hand knowledge of these kinds of people.
 

GrandmaBear

Deputized Emu Slayer/Horse Thief Hunter
People devoid of empathy can easily trick you with their feelings. Especially if they've been getting away with it for a long time. Some aren't very good at it because they haven't gotten away with it as much. That's my opinion anyway, having first-hand knowledge of these kinds of people.
I see Scott the way it sounds like you do. Maybe it takes encountering snakes in life to see it.
 

Howell

Former Member
People devoid of empathy can easily trick you with their feelings. Especially if they've been getting away with it for a long time. Some aren't very good at it because they haven't gotten away with it as much. That's my opinion anyway, having first-hand knowledge of these kinds of people.
I agree. You're absolutely right. Those devoid of empathy(sociopaths) can be very cunning and fool just about anyone, for a time. The problem here is that in every single instance where Scott didn't act as expected, it was touted as evidence of his guilt. When he did act as expected, it was dismissed as sociopathy and considered evidence of guilt. When he didn't show enough emotion or "cry enough", it was because he didn't care. When he did, his tears "weren't real". He "didn't make any effort to find Laci", but when he did, "well, that was just a ruse". While Scott was compliant and cooperative with the police during their investigation, it was spun as "Well yeah, that's what sociopaths do, they ingratiate themselves with authority!"... Once the media have determined that you're guilty, there's just no winning.
 

Scarlette

New member
You saw exactly what I saw. Watching Scott's police interrogation, you can see he's not reticent, he's not defensive, he's not guarded, he's just answering their questions directly. He told them exactly where he went that day and what he did. ALL of which was shown to be true.

And I hope you keep posting here, cuz I really like your "manor"...:LOL::LOL::LOL:
Yes, same way. The same way I felt about my local trial.

LOL...and believe or not I got almost all A's in all my English classes. Of course, I was younger then. And now having read and posted for so many years now, I tend to use the more common terms.

And I hope you keep posting also, because I have forgotten more facts and rumors than I can count.
 

Scarlette

New member
If Conner was born alive the umbilical cord would have been cut and it was not. He also had no food in his stomach which would indicate a live birth. The twine was never tied tightly as it caused no internal nor external damage to Conner so what would have been the point of it in any scenario? Laci's uterus had not started shrinking as they do after delivery.

It is ludicrous to think some stranger kidnapped a very pregnant woman, kept her until she delivered her baby, no one cut the umbilical cord, and at some point killed her and the baby, a baby with not a bit of food in him. Then they loosely tied twine/tape around Conner for no purpose nor reason and dumped him in the bay? There was no sign whatsoever Conner was murdered outside of his mother's body.

Laci's body was in much worse shape than Conner's as he was protected in the womb.

Scott had a temporary two day fishing license for December 23 and 24 which he purchased on the 20th (premeditation). However, he said he was going golfing and even said afterwards that he had been golfing. Lo and behold Laci goes missing on fishing license days, days planned for on at least the 20th and a golfing story started. Lo and behold Laci and Conner wash up in the bay where Scott placed himself. Scott has a new woman. Scott wants a vasectomy. Scott said he had a dead wife. Scott was blowing off events with his wife and his unborn son to be with the new woman.

By the way, eyewitness testimony is an example of direct evidence. The fishing license is circumstantial evidence one has to put together with all other things to tie it to Laci. Yet we all know how incredibly unreliable eyewitness testimony can be. The fishing license while circumstantial, is a solid piece of physical evidence that exists with proof positive Scott purchased it. The difference in direct evidence and circumstantial evidence does not always mean the circumstantial is weaker evidence by any means.

It is a common misconception by many that circumstantial cases cannot result in first degree murder convictions nor death sentence verdicts. Many circumstantial cases are stronger than those with only a bit of direct evidence. Surveillance footage is circumstantial evidence most of the time. You can see the murderer pull up to a house two minutes before neighbors heard gunshots and screams for help. That footage puts the murderer there but no one saw him do the killing so it is circumstantial. My point is simply that most people put a lot of weight on pictures and surveillance and deservedly so but it usually is not direct evidence. The murder caught on tape would be direct evidence.

Direct evidence is a short list and in the days before DNA even shorter and DNA is not even always direct evidence. A fingerprint found at a crime scene is not direct evidence. When a person considers what is not direct evidence, it is clear most evidence in most cases is circumstantial. Imo.

Cops arrive to find a man standing over a still bleeding and moaning victim with a gun in hand. Gun was even just fired. A gunshot wound is apparent. No one else is in the home. Case closed? Of course not, although I would not doubt in times long past that could happen. Gun does not match. Man was neighbor who came running to help and shot at perp to stop perp from shooting victim again. Perp ran out. Even this scenario is not direct evidence.

So many complain about this case being circumstantial. I think they are mixing up the terms of circumstantial evidence and physical evidence. Most cases are circumstantial. Jmo.

To each their own opinion. Mine is that Scott is as guilty as sin.
Thank you for more details. I don't remember anything about the umbilical cord and the shrinking of the uterus. But then I never had children nor around many people that talked about those things.

The circumstances of what Scott did and lied about are just that. Of course he lied since he wanted to be with another woman, not any direct evidence of murder imho.

As for surveillance footage, there is a series on ID called See No Evil which is all about the cases that were solved because of them. Maybe it is different if one is directly in front of the screen, but I could only identify the murderer if it was a very clear picture, which most of them aren't as they are old systems. And if one can't swear to the face matching their suspect, to me that is still weak.

LOL, another scenario I always think of is if you are sitting in a restaurant near a window and a man comes in with water dripping from his hat and his coat and pants and shoes wet. And you look outside and see sunshine and no clouds.
Turns out the man got sprayed by a lawn sprinkler on both sides of the sidewalk for several of his steps to the door.

And as long as there are no angry emotional feelings when discussing the facts and theories, I thing it is always better to see another person's ideas/views. Who knows, maybe there is another way to view it than just 2.

I've been shocked about at least 2 cases I watched that took 10 or 30 years to solve. In both cases the murderer just wanted to know what if felt like to kill someone, no other reason.
 

Scarlette

New member
Nice to "meet" you Scarlette. You will note my opinions differ on this case from yours.

Even so, people have different opinions in more cases than this one and I can respect that they do.
Nice to meet you also, although I remember reading lots of your posts on the McStay case, and thought they were well presented. After all, it would be boring if everyone had the same opinion, and nobody reading them would be learning anything new.
 

Scarlette

New member
People devoid of empathy can easily trick you with their feelings. Especially if they've been getting away with it for a long time. Some aren't very good at it because they haven't gotten away with it as much. That's my opinion anyway, having first-hand knowledge of these kinds of people.
The older I get the more I notice people's eyes and body stance. I used to be fooled by some very good con men, no more.
 

GrandmaBear

Deputized Emu Slayer/Horse Thief Hunter
Thank you for more details. I don't remember anything about the umbilical cord and the shrinking of the uterus. But then I never had children nor around many people that talked about those things.

The circumstances of what Scott did and lied about are just that. Of course he lied since he wanted to be with another woman, not any direct evidence of murder imho.

As for surveillance footage, there is a series on ID called See No Evil which is all about the cases that were solved because of them. Maybe it is different if one is directly in front of the screen, but I could only identify the murderer if it was a very clear picture, which most of them aren't as they are old systems. And if one can't swear to the face matching their suspect, to me that is still weak.

LOL, another scenario I always think of is if you are sitting in a restaurant near a window and a man comes in with water dripping from his hat and his coat and pants and shoes wet. And you look outside and see sunshine and no clouds.
Turns out the man got sprayed by a lawn sprinkler on both sides of the sidewalk for several of his steps to the door.

And as long as there are no angry emotional feelings when discussing the facts and theories, I thing it is always better to see another person's ideas/views. Who knows, maybe there is another way to view it than just 2.

I've been shocked about at least 2 cases I watched that took 10 or 30 years to solve. In both cases the murderer just wanted to know what if felt like to kill someone, no other reason.
The sprinkler example and wet man, nice day is a good one lol.

Yeah, surveillance footage sure varies and it seems like what we are given in these cases or even what we see on TV is often grainy or poor quality. Yet I have seen our PD put up pictures caught on footage from local gas stations entering or exiting that catches the person beautifully, full face, color, etc. and you can see exactly who it is. From Walmart as well. They do this occasionally for gas drive-offs and thefts to help get the person identified.

The forensic pathologist testified to the fact of the umbilical cord not being cut and the lack of food in Conner's stomach as well as the uterus. The uterus starts to contract and shrink almost immediately after child birth and although it can take four to six weeks to fully return to normal, the process begins right away.

Killing someone just to see what it felt like, how chilling. That is a scary individual, scarier than someone I think who kills in a rage as far as how they tick inside anyhow...
 

GrandmaBear

Deputized Emu Slayer/Horse Thief Hunter
Nice to meet you also, although I remember reading lots of your posts on the McStay case, and thought they were well presented. After all, it would be boring if everyone had the same opinion, and nobody reading them would be learning anything new.
Really? It must have been after I read the thread and articles, etc. on it a bit because it is not a case I was overly familiar with like some are--McStay I mean.

The same opinions always would be dull and who wants that right?
 

GarAndMo39

Not a Sheeple!

Scott Peterson among death row prisoners who got Covid unemployment benefit from California​

Scott Peterson received Covid-19 unemployment benefits from the state of California despite being on death row for the murder of his wife and unborn son, according to a report.

Peterson was approved for the benefits along with convicted serial killer Cary Stayner and murderer Isuaro Aguirre, according to the Los Angeles Times. <snip>
 

GrandmaBear

Deputized Emu Slayer/Horse Thief Hunter

Scott Peterson among death row prisoners who got Covid unemployment benefit from California​

Scott Peterson received Covid-19 unemployment benefits from the state of California despite being on death row for the murder of his wife and unborn son, according to a report.

Peterson was approved for the benefits along with convicted serial killer Cary Stayner and murderer Isuaro Aguirre, according to the Los Angeles Times. <snip>
Smh. Unbelievable. I am going to resist politics but man, get a clue... I suppose they get straws too. (Sarcasm intended)...

Until I read the article, I thought maybe they were doing a pennies a day job in prison but on death row? And then the article shows otherwise...
 

Kimster

Let's Find Michael Bryson!
Staff member

Scott Peterson among death row prisoners who got Covid unemployment benefit from California​

Scott Peterson received Covid-19 unemployment benefits from the state of California despite being on death row for the murder of his wife and unborn son, according to a report.

Peterson was approved for the benefits along with convicted serial killer Cary Stayner and murderer Isuaro Aguirre, according to the Los Angeles Times. <snip>
Wait, what? How does THAT work?
 

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